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Green Tip of the Month: Plastics in the Lab


It's everywhere
The global market size of plastic consumables by research laboratories is estimated at $5 billion per year. Polystyrene, polypropylene and polycarbonate plastics — all petroleum based and few recyclable — form lab materials from petri dishes to test tube stands.


Available alternatives
More sustainable options exist and are available from the Rockefeller Storeroom. For example, Crystalgen offers Go-green petri dishes, made from biodegradable polylactic acid plastic. EcoStand™ Tube Holders, manufactured by EMD Millipore, are formed from a biodegradable and compostable corn-based resin.


Campus recycling
The university recycles numbers 1 and 2 plastics, which should be sanitized with a 10 percent bleach solution if exposed to biological material. Plastic package wrapping can be recycled with plastic bags in the receptacles by the Mail Room and near the vending machines in RRB. And, Glasswashing Services recycles pipette tip boxes.

Did You Know?

Choose the Revolving Door

U.S. per capita plastic consumption is greater than 310 pounds per year, only about six percent of which is recycled!